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Volunteering Is the New Résumé

I have a friend who has been out of work for a little over two years. She is another victim of the big recession snowball that seems to be hitting anyone at random smack-dab in the face. After she got laid off, she began looking for a job. She looked in and out of her field with no success. She kept sending her résumé into outer-cyber space to no avail.

One day, she phoned me with tears and told me she had given up. She didn’t want to send another résumé or walk into another clothing store at the mall to receive the courtesy “we’re-not-hiring,” comments. She felt like a failure and unwanted. Her confidence was at an all-time low.

“Maybe you should take some time off,” I advised. We all know how rapid resume firing can be exhausting and after a while every job starts to look the same. And, rejection after rejection can leave a sting. So, she took time off and started volunteering at her local hospital.

“I’ve always wanted to be a nurse so I might as well do something I like with my time,” she stated. She started going to the hospital almost every day, working on different floors and learning various jobs. Not only did this give her a sense of purpose, but it helped her restore her confidence and fine-tune her true passion: helping people. She was living off of unemployment benefits, helping people, and extremely happy.

Prior to her lay off, she never had the time or money to go to nursing school. It was always something she wished to do but never saw a way in.

Well, a year later the hospital offered her a job. And, they are willing to pay her nursing-school tuition. Her diligence and focus paid off. She made the best of her situation and in retrospect her lay off was the best thing that could have happened. She lost a dead-end job and gained a career she loved. To survive these times, we have to use flexibility, adaptability, and creativity. And, do something we love for free.

Now, when I think about the recession and how it has impacted so many, I think of her. Her story is a success and I can only imagine how many more are out there.